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David Koenig
Tomorrowland Touch-Ups
Disney's colossal disappointment of 2001 -- Disney's California Adventure -- did do one favor for Disneyland. It took all the attention off of its previous mega-flop, the Dead Weight of '98, the renovated Tomorrowland.

The Company, to its credit, has moved quickly to "fix" DCA by adding characters, changing shows, building new rides, easing annual passholder restrictions, and offering non-stop discounts. The same cannot be said of the New Tomorrowland.

After consuming more than $100 million, Tomorrowland has less to show for itself than before the "expansion." No Submarine Voyage, no Skyway, no PeopleMover, no CircleVision, not even Mission to Mars. In becoming the Astro Orbiter, the Rocket Jets lost the one thrill that separated it from Dumbo -- altitude. Star Tours and Space Mountain remain, basically unchanged. All that remains of Rocket Rods, the signature E-ticket addition, is a crumbling track. Of fountain Cosmic Waves, a marble ball (shown above).

There are a few exhibit to see, the now-stale American Space Adventure and the sparsely-visited Innoventions. Of course, the renovation's most noticeable change -- a vibrant paint scheme -- grows more faded by the day.

Fortunately, some tweaks are on the way. Nothing major, mostly safety and cosmetic enhancements, but at this point Tomorrowland will take any attention it can get.

Due to a state safety requirement, the rails around Astro Orbiter have been raised. The new railings will soon feature laser etched "planets" in gold and silver.

Plans have been submitted to install safety gates at the loading area for Autopia. Although they may prove a tight squeeze, the gates are supposed to leave just enough room for guests to enter and exit their car.

Also installed along the Autopia track are numerous new "No Bumping" signs that light up at night. The "Numbered" signs along the boarding lanes are also expected to be planted into the ground soon so guests can't hang on them and fall onto the track.

The ride operators at the Off Road area now have a PA system at their disposal so they can direct guests. And an additional cast member has been added to the rotation: a "speiler" towards the end of the track.

The American Space Experience is slated for a three-day remodel in November to update its displays to more recent NASA projects. Long term, though, the Pin Shop likely will expand to take over the exhibit's current quarters.

Star Tours should be down for a two-day rehab in November to repaint the interior and a one-day rehab in December to re-carpet the inside.

Staff is also hoping that something will be left in the budget for Tomorrowland to receive Christmas decorations this year and possibly the popular post-fireworks snow effect. One option, said a cast member, is "to put the snow machines on top of the Rocket Rod tracks. At last, something that works on the Rocket Rods tracks, hee hee."

Nothing has been finalized on the most-talked about major changes: the addition of Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, a new CircleVision movie, a new film for Star Tours, and a complete makeover of Space Mountain.

A recent rumor floating through Tomorrowland has the new Star Tours movie arriving -- along with new ride operator costumes -- in 2005, to coincide with the release of the next Star Wars movie. "They'll make it to Endor and encounter storm troopers and such while on the planet," shares a cast member, who predicts the project will never get off the ground. "These are the same rumors we heard when the first and second (Star Wars) movies came out."

Space Mountain is slated for new rockets and a new ride system in time for the 50th Anniversary celebration in 2005. Exact additions, such as an entirely new track layout and a cannon launch a la Disneyland Paris, have yet to be approved.

One ride operator says WDI is looking into the possibility of moving the new Space Mountain load area to the Rocket Rods boarding area! "It sounds weird, but if they used the same size rockets, I guess it's possible," he says. "There would be one tube that would shoot the rocket into the Mountain and another to send it back at the end." Far fetched, but interesting to imagine.

Now, on to Reader Mail:

Ear-Mail 10/28/02

A cast member wrote:

Art Linkletter was overheard saying at the cast member's latest Service Awards Banquet that he would love to emcee the park's 50th anniversary television special (if there is one) like the one when the park first opened. But a friend of mine, and several people agree, that the company would choose someone more "hip." Sadly, that would be a rap singer, or some low-caliber star from the company.

So many of the decision-makers are such idiots, and the reason the company and especially the parks are in such straits is that no one is around that has a sense of history. Most of the "old-timers" who knew how the park was run were fired or forced to retire.

I noticed that not only was there a sign attributing the repainting of Small World to the "50th anniversary celebration," but also a similar sign was put in front of the Carrousel pit. Wonder if this excuse will be used every time something goes down for a really long rehab. "We apologize for the inconvenience of closing the Mark Twain, Sailing Ship Columbia, Tom Sawyer Island rafts, and Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes for the next six months. In honor of Disneyland's upcoming 50th anniversary celebration, the Rivers of America have been drained to restore it to its original glory of 1955, by filling it for the first time in years with clean water."

Regarding "Ways of the World," Josh erupted:

I was happy to see your new article today. Of course, I was VERY happy to read the title. It's amazing how little most California people know about WDW.

Your first point, about anniversaries, was a little odd. True, I think that it's lame that each year is some new celebration -- I remember when the 15th anniversary was so cool because it WAS an anniversary. They even had a parade and a song about it! But now each year it's something and it's no big deal.

So wait ... are you saying that Disneyland should learn from that mistake? Or WDW should? Hmmm.

Then you say that Anaheim is copying all of WDW's good rides. Does that mean that Disneyland's doing that right? Or is that bad?

You continue with Disneyland's Main Street is better than WDW's. Again, are you saying that WDW screwed up, and that Disneyland should learn from that mistake?

Then you say WDW's cast members are grumpy and lame. Oh, I see where this is going. This is another Disneylander's "Walt Disney World sucks" article.

Come on!! We all know that Disneyland has the historical pride of being the first and original. But Walt Disney World is so much better than "The Disneyland Resort"!!!

Disneyland park is cramped and crowded. Too crowded. True, Indiana Jones and Space Mountain are awesome, but the rest of the attractions are virtually the same as Florida. But Florida ALSO has Epcot, the Studios, the Animal Kingdom AND all of the water parks and resorts. California gets lame California Adventure, one cool hotel and two non-Disney constructed, lightly rethemed high-rises.

The phrase "Disneyland Resort" is a joke!! How many out-of-town people visit a year? How many out-of-state people visit a year? Few. Most guests are OC or LA residents who drive in for a day and leave. Heck, a good portion have annual passes, and we KNOW how they're regarded by TDA!

For Disneyland to become a TRUE destination resort they have to provide something new. They are COMPETING with Walt Disney World, whether they like it or not. Disneyland has to create a new park that is unlike anything created before. Something that will lure East Coast visitors, people who are sick of WDW's "100 years of magic" or the next "big" promotion.

A park with ALL NEW rides, not WDW's recycled leftovers. Something they've never seen before, something that takes MORE than a day to see. A huge park. Kind of like Epcot in that way. Two parks in one. All of a sudden a week at the Disneyland Resort isn't such a bad idea. Two days at Disneyland. A day at California Adventure. Two days at Park Three.

Disney could even offer tours of Hollywood. A shuttle to the Santa Monica pier. The Getty museum. Little day trips around town so people FEEL like they've seen LA, but in an organized and family-friendly way.

These guests then HAVE to go back to Boston or Cleveland or Washington and tell their friends and families, "Oh MAN! You have to go to California!"

It's a competition between East and West. But people are getting sick of East. Sick that there are no new attractions at WDW. (And Test Track doesn't count 'cause it sucks.) If there was an alternative, something fresh and new, but with the trusted brand name of Disney, it would be gangbusters.

And you promote Disneyland to the American public as "Walt's original theme park." When we first visited Disneyland in 1988 from Maine my parents were so excited. This was WALT'S PARK. The first one. The one that they grew up watching on TV. Never mind that it's pretty much the same as WDW's the Magic Kingdom. Play the damn Walt card!!!!!

So we have to:

A) Play into the grown public's nostalgia for Disneyland: The Park.

B) Provide a third park BIG AND NEW AND FUN that makes people flock, and then tell their friends.

C) Day trips to LA that are Disney-safe, and keep people staying at the Disney hotels.

D) Keep California Adventure growing, it's not a bad park, it's just a little small. Like Disney-MGM Studios when it opened.

E) Thus we allow park hopping. California Adventure is a great park -- for a few hours visit.

F) The DVC idea was good. Go with that, too.

If Disney is serious about this "destination resort" thing they sure don't look it. Where are the national ads? How are they cornering the Eastern audience? There are MILLIONS of loyal Disney fans out there, let's get them to California and show them a good time.

Thanks for the spanking. I didn't mean to turn this into a Disneyland vs WDW thing. I hate those conversations. (My only opinion on the topic is Disneyland is superior to ANYthing in WDW, but inferior to EVERYthing.) I liked Snow White and I liked Beauty and the Beast -- do I have to square them off against each other?

The idea was Disneyland could learn from WDW -- both its successes and its failures.

Failure 1 - Anniversaries. Make them count. For the 50th, show me the beef.

Success 1 - Great attractions to steal. Disneyland's on its way with this one.

Failure 2 - Main Street becomes a mall. Sadly, Disneyland's on it way with this one, too.

Failure 3 - Some cast members grumpy, some non-cast members happy. I want to see Orange County's best and brightest working at Disneyland not at the liquor store on Harbor Boulevard.

Success 2 - DVC. Copy ASAP.

You're right about Disneyland competing with WDW. I think this is something Disney forgot when it turned Anaheim into a "Destination Resort." Most of the people who would want to spend a week at a Disney Resort are already doing that.

All your suggestions to "fix" the Resort are right on, but this is stuff Disneyland doesn't necessarily learn from WDW's successes and failures. It's stuff they should have thought of before they started tearing up the old parking lot.

Hopefully it's not too late.

Michelle Culver inquired:

Can you explain a bit more about the toy store? You had said the name of it was Once Upon A Toy?

It's a very large toy store, colorful, well organized, with several large eye-catching displays. Such as toy monorails running through toy Contemporary, Grand Floridian and Polynesian hotels and toy trains running past toy Astro Orbiters, Mad Tea Parties, Sun Wheels, Golden Zephyrs, etc.

Another is an interactive Mr. Potatohead area with bins to buy "spare parts" such as mouse ears, Mickey head balloons, cameras and sandals, and kiosks where you can design your own beforehand and get a free color print out.

The store seemed to be doing good business, and shoppers -- especially children -- seemed very excited. It was just nice to see a big Disney store that wasn't just another big Disney Store.

Michael A. Bowling wrote:

I enjoyed your article about what Disneyland can learn from Walt Disney World and agree with much of it. We were at WDW at the same time you were. In fact, our son turned 18 on October 1. We found that there were four pins commemorating Epcot's 20th anniversary and bought them as a souvenir for our son. Throughout the day, several cast members told us it was the anniversary of Epcot and the opening of WDW.

Every cast member we interacted with at WDW was friendly and helpful. The only grumpy cast members we encountered were a couple of bus drivers for WDW Transportation.

Tim Wolfers added:

I enjoyed your take on WDW, and have a few comments. First, the Main Street store scene. With the exception of the barber shop (where my son got a haircut which was a highlight of our trip), Main St. is simply a retail strip mall for Disney souvenirs. We just rushed through on our recent visits (three in the last four years).

We were there in June, and did not see any poor behavior by ANY Disney cast members. Overall they were very friendly and helpful. Especially the guest service members we talked to for Priority Seatings. The only "surly" behavior we encountered was from Magic Kingdom guests, who seemed to be overwhelmed, or over tired, or were simply out of place. By that I mean people who don't have any public manners, regardless of where they are.

I agree with your timeshare analogy, but Anaheim needs to fix their theme park problems before they ask the public to finance their next overpriced lodging project. Florida is quickly becoming "timeshareland," which I don't think too much of. The reality of timeshare purchase is that you are financing the sales pitch with your purchase, as much as 50% in some cases. Does it really cost over $12,000 for six nights in a motel room? Plus fees? Plus extra point costs? Don't get me started!

The other point you brought up was the lack of any kind of Epcot anniversary celebration, even though you were there on the exact DAY! That really surprised me. I have been to Disneyland for "28th year" celebration, 30th anniversary (with GM car giveaways), and the 25th for WDW in '96. They were all fun celebrations, without really doing a whole lot other than reminding guests they were appreciated. They now seem to rely solely on resort-wide promotion "celebrations" to entice visitors, which is little more than a slick marketing technique.

The one other observation I had was concerning the gross amount of sidewalk vendors, and strolling vendors. Especially at places like Fantasmic, they bombarded us with junk food and cr*ppy light souvenirs. The $14 light saber is nothing more than a 99-cent flashlight, with a 99-cent colored plastic tube on the end. It seemed wherever there was a crowd (shows, parades) there followed the cr*p sellers. (I did buy my son a spinning Buzz, which is of good quality and he keeps by his bed for tucking in time.)

I agree. The only extended time we really spent on Main Street was getting a haircut for our 4-year-old son. A definitely highlight, especially when the barbershop quartet arrived to serenade him.

Happy to hear about your experiences with cast members. Certainly the vast majority we encountered were fine, but the handful of grumps we ran into did stand out. Could not tell if they were part-timers who didn't care about their jobs, old-timers who were burned out, humidity victims or what. The most ill-mannered, pushy guests we encountered were also at the Magic Kingdom.

Don't know if it's because that park is the most crowded, if parents are most frazzled there because of demands of entertaining their children, not sure.

Anniversaries, which had been a great source of pride for WDW and its cast members, are officially a joke.

The one point I'll disagree on is the Timeshare Dilemma. Personally, I've been disgusted with the whole notion of timeshares since my first "free tour" nearly 20 years ago. Steep price, rundown accommodations, inflexible booking time and location. But Disney's program, if you're familiar with it, is the exact opposite (except for the price part). Accommodations are beautiful and spacious (closer to condos than motel rooms), and booking is very flexible (based on availability, at time of year, length of stay, choice of locations).

It's not for everyone but is a good deal for people who plan to vacation at WDW at least every other year for the foreseeable future, and want to lock down a decent rate at a very nice facility. Guests will make longer, more frequent visits and, I suspect, since accommodations are prepaid, may have looser purse strings in the parks, shops and restaurants.

Disneyland could use that business, and I think there's enough in Anaheim right now to make it work.

Now WDW may one day be in danger of having too many Disney timeshare rooms and find itself unable to fill its regular hotel rooms. Certainly that's not the case at Disneyland.

On to the Disney-owned Anaheim Angels, who won the World Series last night, in case you hadn't heard, Bob Starcher wrote:

The question brought up by Ed about whether the Angels would be part of Walt's "Dream" brings to mind some of his work on the Walt Disney Presents shows. He had many shows focusing on sports such as the Moochie series. And he had built a ball field outside of Disneyland in the Holidayland area. I even saw a picture of him at bat in a baseball game near the studios on the back of the 'E' Ticket magazine.

I think Walt would have loved having the Angels. He liked to diversify and get involved with a great many things.

Ex-CM charged:

Concerning your response to Ed's comments about Disney's owning the Angels:

While baseball may be high quality inexpensive family entertainment, it is NOT Disney! There are baseball teams (and hockey, football, basketball, etc.) teams throughout the country that provide the same (if not better) experience. In other words, there is NOTHING special about the Angels that makes them unique as to rate a place in Disney's Magical Realm.

Yes, the Angels CAN provide an enjoyable entertainment experience, capturing those who, Disney fans or not, enjoy the sport. But, they can do that even without a Disney connection.

As a Disneyland fan and Disney stockholder, my other issue is that the money that Disney wasted in purchasing the team, upgrading the stadium and covering the losses the franchise has constantly incurred, would have gone a lot further in enhancing the Disney experience by maintaining and improving Disneyland over the last decade.

While Disney may not have the obligation to provide everyone with everything, it DOES have the obligation to not waste stockholder's investments on ego ventures. If Eisner wants the Angels, let him pay for it out of HIS own pocket (even if even THAT came out of our pocket).

Thanks for your note, but we disagree sharply on this. What is inherently NOT Disney about baseball? Are there some unwritten "Rules of Being Disney" I don't know about?

There are theme parks throughout the country that provide the same (if not better) experience as DCA. There are park attractions that provide the same (if not better) experience as the Monorail. There are TV networks that provide the same (if not better) programs as the Disney Channel. Does that make any of these Disney products NOT Disney?

Disney doesn't operate a "Magical Realm." It runs a business, a business made famous and successful by providing high quality family entertainment.

The financial issue is a completely separate one (since profitability is, I assume, not a criteria for something to considered "Disney"). And, trust me, had Disney not bought the Angels, not one penny of the money saved would have been spent on Disneyland.

Promotional photo © MLB
Promotional art © MLB

Ex-CM shot back:

And what IS Disney about a baseball team? If Disney is just going to jump into every situation that could be some way tied to "family‚" they would eventually lose any vestige of being something special and unique. Baseball teams have been around for decades, and they all do the same thing. The only real uniqueness is their location, moniker and fans.

Citing DCA, you prove my point. While Disney has been wasting millions on diversified ventures like the Angels, they have been penny pinching the very core of their existence. When it gets to the point where Disney has lost the essence that makes them unique, what reason is there to go to a Disney park at all?

Their inattention has caused them to falter, not only in theme parks, but also in their other core business, animation. Eisner's fling into pro sports may have been a kick for him, but, in the long run, it has done nothing but weaken the company overall.

With the Monorail, again, if Disney had been focusing on their core businesses, the chances are that there would not be any attractions better than Disney's. And, if their increased competition did develop a better attraction, Disney should immediately counter with a better one. Instead, they have sunk into cutbacks, reductions and limited budgets. None of those do anything to improve Disney's parks.

The lack of attention towards the creative core of the Disney Company has caused them to lose the talent that kept them on top. And that lost talent has gone out and created products that have left Disney in the dust.

The Disney Channel does provide a limited outlet for much of their content. If they hadn't been able to coerce cable distributors to make the Disney Channel a basic channel, they would be losing money on that too.

Now, ABC is another thing altogether. That acquisition has mired Disney in debt that they may not be able to break out of. Then they go and blow another $5.8 billion for Fox Family.

While these acquisitions may have had some potential benefits for the company, they certainly won't if it causes the company to ignore their core businesses to death. If they had kept the parks and Feature Animation in peak order, then there probably wouldn't be an issue with SOME other ventures.

Disney's business IS the Magical Realm. That Magical Realm was built around high quality family entertainment. But now, a good portion of the high quality has been lost from that family entertainment as needed funds are squandered elsewhere. Some may say that owning a baseball is as family as anything else Disney does. But, just because Disney buys something doesn't make it Disney.

The profitability is a key issue overall. As I said, if they had kept the parks and animation in peak unchallengeable condition, it wouldn't be as much of an issue for the company to branch out.

So you are saying that it doesn't matter what Disney gets involved in because they won't spend money on Disneyland anyway? So we're supposed to just give up on the parks, accept the cr*p they are building under the Disney name? With that attitude, then there will be no real Disney essence left in a decade. All that will be left will be old Disney cartoons, decaying theme parks, and people's memories of what the company used to be.

It's really getting down to the point where it's looking pretty bad for Disney overall. The parks are deteriorating and whatever efforts to keep them fresh are all driven by corporate politics and bottom line strategies.

The official corporate party line is that everything is fine and the company will recover once the economy does. If they really believe that then they are being more dishonest with themselves than they are with the public.

I guess I've ranted enough for now. My ongoing frustration with the company may never be resolved. Even with the latest corporate changes, there still doesn't appear to be any real improvement in sight. So I'll let it go for now.

Keep up the good work at MousePlanet though. While we may disagree on this topic, any chance of Disney recovering may depend on the constant pressure for them to improve.

Our methodologies may differ, but I think our hearts are in the same place.

I absolutely agree that Disney's "golden geese" (theme parks, feature animation) should be cultivated and cared for. Then again, so did Card Walker and in the 1970s he almost destroyed the company because he thought it should ONLY be about these things.

The company should grow beyond these things. More types of entertainment that's high quality and family-oriented and profitable, be they TV stations, hotels, cruise lines, professional sports teams, whatever.

They don't have to have Mickey Mouse painted all over them for the average consumer to enjoy them.

Profitability is vital but, again, has nothing to do with if something is "Disney" or not. Disneyland Paris is probably the most "Disney" thing Disney has done in the last 15 years and the company may never recoup its investment. Miramax is probably the most un-Disney thing Disney has done and has been, on the whole, critically and financially successful.

It absolutely matters what Disney gets involved in. In my opinion, to strength the company and the brand, it should be entertainment- related, high quality, family oriented and potentially profitable. It need not be smothered in pixie dust or have been created by Walt himself.

And it all has little effect on if the parks get taken care of. Unfortunately, the executives' mindset today is to suck every penny out of them, no matter how the theme park or any other division is doing and no matter what the long-term cost. This is heart-breaking... and bad business by both of our definitions.

P.S. Give Eisner some credit. Fox Family was $3.8 billion not $5.8 billion, meaning Disney overpaid by only $3.5 billion.

Lowell Bennink, a sportswriter for the Orange County Register, noted:

I was amused by the comment someone made in your column about baseball and the Angels not being a part of Walt Disney's dream. Maybe Walt never really seriously thought about owning a baseball team or any other sporting event. But he clearly thought highly of sports. Look at how many times there were sports references in movies and cartoons. How many times did Goofy play sports in cartoons?

Plus, there is a major connection between Disney and the Angels that goes way back. First, Walt Disney and Gene Autry were friends. When the Angels came into existence, they played in tiny little Wrigley Field in Los Angeles (yes, it was called the same as the Chicago park because it was built by the same family/company that built the Cubs' home). A year later, they moved into the newly built Dodger Stadium, where they shared it with the Dodgers. But Gene Autry was very unhappy with the situation. He realized that, being in Los Angeles, the Angels would always be the poor stepchild of the Dodgers. Especially playing in the Dodgers' home park. And he didn't like the way the Angels were treated by the Dodgers, where they were constantly give the short shrift by the Dodgers' organization. So Autry was dying to get out there.

Enter Walt Disney. As we all know, Disney found this nice little town in Orange County called Anaheim. So he called Gene Autry up and asked him if he would consider moving the club down the freeway to Anaheim. They talked about it and Autry found it a great idea. Anaheim had been in the process of trying to improve its image. It had Disneyland, now it wanted something else to make it into a big league city. They were putting together the funding for a stadium in hope of luring an AFL franchise (the NFL's rival league) to the city. When the city fathers heard, through Disney, that the Angels would be willing to move to their town, the city scrapped the idea of a football stadium and built Anaheim Stadium, a baseball-oriented park.

Thus, it was because of Walt Disney, really, that we're rooting for the Anaheim Angels today and not the San Fernando Angels or Long Beach Angels or San Diego Angels. Plus, over the years, there have been numerous tie-ins with the Angels and Disney/Disneyland, as I think you mentioned. The Disneyland/Angels tickets giveaways. Disney characters at games for pregame festivities.

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, the team changed its name from the Los Angeles Angels to the California Angels when they moved because Autry and his board feared alienating their current fan base in Los Angeles by naming them after this tiny little town in Orange County. Disney didn't worry about that by the 1990s. They already had the Ducks. They knew Anaheim worked just fine.

Roger Colton added:

Let's remind everyone that Walt loved baseball as much as Gene Autry and both were part owners at one time of the Hollywood Stars of the Pacific Coast League!

In my humble opinion, Walt would have been proud of the Angels and the company's involvement with the team. Now I don't think he would have been too crazy about that monkey! Now Rally Mickey? That I can see!

Promotional photo © MLB
Promotional photo © MLB

And I still wish it had been that A's and Angels in the ALCS instead of the Twins. It would have been a lot more interesting, and some real baseball for the full seven games! Thanks anyway for doing in the Yankees.

And finally, let's not forget the baseball connection in Florida, too, with the Sports complex.

Don Willis cheered:

Go Giants!

Ed Ober wrote:

I've been an Angel fan for most of my life (20 years). I really started to follow them in 1989 when I went to the All-Star game. I'll always remember the crash of '95 and the burnouts of '98, 2000, and 2001. I was around during those other years when the Angel teams were pretty bad. Every summer my parents took me to at least five games. I loved watching Gary Disarcina play. I was bummed when he retired. But now we have David Eckstein to take his place.

I was angry when the Angels got shafted in the J.T. Snow and Jim Edmonds trade. I was upset when Chuck Finley left and Darin Erstad was almost traded and Troy Percival wanted to leave the team. At least in the Edmonds trade we got Adam Kennedy, who has blossomed. I was happy to see Mo Vaughan get traded to acquire a veteran pitcher and see Aaron Sele get signed. I had high hopes for the Angels this year. It has been great to see them throw away all the demons from the past. I left to study in Europe for a year a month before the season ended. I've followed the games on the 'net since then.

What really upsets me is the bandwagon fans. All of the sudden the Angels are doing good and there is red everywhere in Anaheim. Where were these "fans" in the past? It's usually the real fans who suffer. The ones who can't get post season tickets because of these bandwagon fans. I've been told by friends and my parents that if I was in Anaheim right now I'd be very upset at this newfound interest in the Angels. I only wonder how many of these "fans" will be around if the Angels have an off year next season.

Promotional photo © MLB
Promotional photo © MLB

It's funny; I was just talking to a co-worker about this. He knew I'd been an Angels fan for 30 years and asked if I was upset with all the bandwagoners.

I said that in '82 and '86 they bugged me ('79 I was too young to notice). Here I'd been rooting for the Angels though the worst of times and through the -- well, they were mostly the worst of times -- and now come October 1 the Angels are in the playoffs and all these people who had never been to the ballpark before are suddenly huge Angels fans. The worst, of course, was they gobbled up all the good playoff tickets and I was left sitting about 600 feet away to right field.

They were MY team, I'd earned the right to enjoy their accomplishments, and I didn't want to share that success with people who didn't earn it.

I don't know why, but this year has been the opposite. I love it that people have suddenly begun to embrace baseball and, in particular, the Angels. The more fans, the more exciting. I'd love to share this team and this euphoria with the world. What I'm tired of is Yankees and Red Sox fans filling up Edison Field. I hope to start seeing Angels fans fill up Edison Field -- and will be looking for Angels fans at Yankee Stadium and Fenway Park.

Let's enjoy the ride! This may be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Next time: Reader reaction to last week's article, "Good Character."

Send your comments to David here.

Tomorrowland Touch-Ups


David Koenig is the senior editor of the 80-year-old business journal, The Merchant Magazine.

After receiving his degree in journalism from California State University, Fullerton (aka Cal State Disneyland), he began years of research for his first book, Mouse Tales: A Behind-the-Ears Look at Disneyland (1994), which he followed with Mouse Under Glass: Secrets of Disney Animation & Theme Parks (1997, revised 2001) and More Mouse Tales: A Closer Peek Backstage at Disneyland (1999); all titles published by Bonaventure Press.

He lives in Aliso Viejo, California, with his lovely wife, Laura, their wonderful son, Zachary, and their adorable daughter, Rebecca.

You can contact David here.


Click here to go to David's main page for a list of archived articles.

Visit MouseShoppe to purchase copies of David's books. (Clicking on the link opens a new window.)


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